Theatre space to become community arts venue

Charles Cryer theatre
The Charles Cryer Theatre

Published Wednesday, 31st October 2018

Winning bidder unveiled

The Charles Cryer Theatre in Carshalton is to be brought back into use as a community arts venue following a successful bid by a local start-up company.

Following a recommendation made by officers, the council’s Strategy and Resources committee  agreed at a meeting held on Monday (29 October) that CryerArts Ltd take on the site.

CryerArts Ltd is run by a team with experience of running successful leisure, construction and entertainment businesses. The company says it intends to use the premises for mixed events including music, film, theatre, comedy, food and drink tasting and TED type talks with a new bar and eating space in the existing restaurant.

Rodger Molyneux, Director of CryerArts Ltd, said: “We are hugely excited to be given this opportunity. We now enter an intense period of preparation with numerous legal permissions and licenses to obtain, the building to rejuvenate, the necessary equipment to install and staff to recruit and train.

“We hope everyone will be patient for a little longer and we will update on progress very soon.”

A longlist was drawn up in July of bidders offering to lease all the buildings on the site of the theatre. Bids were assessed by council officers and a shortlist decided by the end of August based on the viability of the proposals.

Feedback on the bids was also given by representatives of Arts Network Sutton, an independent charity, as well as community representatives on the Carshalton and Clockhouse local committee.

A stakeholder panel of citizens and young commissioners provided feedback on the bids and how closely they met the brief to benefit the wider community and maintain a venue for cultural activity in the borough.

Cllr Steve Penneck,  the council's lead member for arts and culture, said: “Congratulations to CryerArts Ltd on their winning bid. I was hugely impressed by their plans and enthusiasm for once again establishing an arts venue at the heart of our community.  I look forward to the council working in partnership with them in the coming months and years.

“I would like to acknowledge the hard work of all the bidders and thank them for their contribution in what has been a very thorough process to achieve the best outcome for the theatre’s future and for the borough.”